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PERU – Small businesses in Peru and Miami County impacted by COVID-19 will have access to $250,000 in funding to help pay the bills after the county was awarded a grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

The county is using the grant money to establish the Small Business Stabilization Fund. The money will be managed by the Miami County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA).

The agency is currently finalizing the procedures on how small businesses can apply for assistance. Directions should be published early next week on MCEDA’s website at www.miamicountyeda.com.

MCEDA officials said the target date to start accepting applications is noon on April 29, with the cut off for the first round of applications at 4 p.m. on May 6. Applications will only be accepted electronically via an email posted on MCEDA’s website.

MCEDA said the fund is a joint effort between the county and the City of Peru, with an overall goal to assist as many small businesses as possible. The funds are meant to assist with operating costs, such as rent, utilities and insurance, so that employees can be retained while providing some stabilization for the business.

Businesses targeted for the grant include owners who hire independent contractors such as hair salons and barbershops; independent contractors such as hair stylists and barbers; restaurants who do not typically depend on drive-thru service; gyms and fitness centers; Main Street retailers; and other small businesses that don’t have access to federal assistance programs.

MCEDA officials say they expect there to be a large demand for these funds, and are asking small businesses to be mindful of other small businesses and limit their grant requests to only the minimum required for the next 30 to 60 days.

Depending on demand, the amount requested on applications may be reduced in an effort to assist as many businesses as possible.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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Carson Gerber is a reporter for the Kokomo Tribune and can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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